The National Security Cutter (NSC) incorporates a stern launch for two of it’s boats. It is one of its most celebrated features. But the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) specifications, surprisingly, explicitly excluded any consideration of this feature. Is this a mistake?
I’ve had reservations about using stern launch on large ships, because I could imagine that as the ship pitches, the boat and the stern of the ship could move up or down at very different rates, even in different directions, perhaps dangerously so. Still training and good technique can mitigate dangers, so I hope to hear form someone with first hand experience with the system, particularly coxswains who have done both stern ramp and conventional recoveries.
Are there circumstances that preclude using the stern ramp recovery? What is the best heading relative to the sea? Comments, please.